The myth about creativity is that it requires open-ended options and resources. An aspiring artist might believe they need all the paint colors to paint a masterpiece.
A writer gets focused on the various apps and tools that can be used for writing. A video creator is out looking for the best apps for editing and the best camera for filming. They’re busy researching the tripods and lighting.
Someone trying to optimize for productivity can get obsessed with the best task management apps and techniques for tracking time.
A Theory of Constraints
The marketplace is all too happy to comply with our requests for more and better tools.
But having access to more tools and supplies does not make you more creative. In fact, it may stifle your creativity.
Creativity and innovation actually thrive within constraints. A true artist can create a masterpiece with a pencil and paper. If you want to create a unique video, challenge yourself to see what you can do with just the tools you have on hand.
What would you write if you only had 15 minutes, instead of the hour or more you ideally want for your work?
How would you convey your message if someone took away your existing tools and platforms?
We often think of constraints as limiting our options, but in fact they enhance our creativity.
Forcing ourselves to do more with less is where creativity and innovation thrive.
Venus/Saturn Conjunction: Constrain to Innovate
This is a reminder from today’s Venus/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius.
Venus is the planet of pleasure, art, beauty, money, and creativity. Saturn is the planet of restrictions and time. Today they meet up in a conjunction — a new beginning to their cycle — in Aquarius, the sign of innovation.
Coming on the heels of yesterday’s new moon, this is another sign of new beginnings.
The message of this transit is that whatever beauty and art we want to create in our lives, whatever seeds we are planting now for growing in this new year, we must impose boundaries and structure around them.
We must be diligent in how we use our time and resources to attend to what we want to grow. Constraining ourselves and limiting our options for how we bring our dreams into reality will force us to get creative and innovate new approaches and techniques.
Without some constraints, the act of creating can get boring. What makes it interesting is working within the structure of boundaries that force us to come up with new ways to express ourselves.